Yesterday I took a short trip into Stockton high street to buy a subway (The only big name store in the high street) and got a meatball marinara sandwich and drink for £3.
On the walk, my friend asked
me to wait for him while he signed on at the job centre.
(If your not familiar, signing on is how a lot of people from Stockton earn their fortnightly wage of £113.60 (dole))
Some workers are a little wiser and earn slightly more than others.
“Ya smashed it there darl” a loving boyfriend says to his girlfriend, whose “bad back” and way with words secured disability benefits for a few weeks.
While admiring the couples determination to earn more than the rest, my thoughts are interrupted by a short man and his dog.
“Now mate, don’t fancy doing us a fag do ya?” the man politely asks with a smile on his delicately chiseled face.
Regrettably, I don’t smoke and I am forced to say “no”.
Luckily a kind, caring man, presumably also waiting for a friend, interrupts our conversation.
“‘Ere son, i’ll save ya ‘alf” the man says, while rolling cigarette”.
While the two continue to chat over a cigarette, I sit back and admire.
Amazing that in a town riddled by recession, the honest, hard working citizens of Stockton can pull together and share the moments that matter most; half a cigarette outside the job centre before you sign on.